Hopefully, your group enjoyed HALF SISTERS and you’re ready to pour yourself a nice glass of something crisp and chilled – and get your discussion on…
Here are some questions that circle the main themes of the book. Happy conversational wanderings!
- Throughout this story, Maddy’s husband tries to convince her that things that aren’t true are true. Do you think this can happen to anyone or only someone who has certain vulnerabilities? How would you advise a woman to guard herself against gaslighting?
- Maddy has rewritten her past so much that she almost believes she isn’t guilty of things she’s done. Have you ever known anyone to make such selective edits to past events that they become a new truth?
- As Emily says: “Unless everyone buys into exactly the same story, a true thing sometimes isn’t a true thing at all.” Do you think truth can be moved entirely if enough people choose not to believe it? Or is truth ultimately a thing that can never be moved?
- Myrtlebury, where this story takes place, is in the grasp of gentrification. Is the community where you live unchanged or becoming gentrified? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your community’s unchanged or gentrified status?
- The sibling rivalry between Emily and Maddy starts before they reconnect as adults. What role do you think Ivan and Sophie play in triggering the rivalry between them?
- Joseph and Maddy have known each other since they were children and spent their teenhood in each other’s lives. What advantages and disadvantages do you think preadult years spent together have for a marriage?
- Ultimately, Bee takes her brother’s side over her oldest friend’s. Do you think it was the right thing to do? Why or why not? Would you have done the same thing?
- Rank Emily, Bee, Joseph, Maddy, and Greg in order from most villainous to least. Look at the character at the start of your list. Why do you think they were the worst? And the character at the other end of the spectrum: why do you think they were more sinned against than sinner?
- Revenge is a dish best served cold. Do you think that by the end of the story Emily is completely satisfied by the revenge she’s served? Does she feel any better for it? Is her revenge complete?
- After Maddy drives off at the end of the story, what do you think her next moves will be? What would you do in the same situation?
- A couple of the characters in this book talk about “the one who got away.” Do you know of anyone who had someone who “got away”? Did it affect their consequential relationships?
- Toward the end of the book, Maddy snoops on her husband’s laptop. This is after she’s looked in his phone. She also mentions having read her sister’s teen diary. Is it ever okay to snoop? Ultimately, have any of these snoopings given Maddy information that’s helped her?